"What a childhood I had, why, when I took my first step, my old man tripped me," Rodney Dangerfield jokes during his famous "I get no respect" angle of comedy. That old man seems to be the NBA referees and that first step could easily be compared to the young Toronto Raptors. Not unlike Mr. Dangerfield, the Raptors get no respect!
General manager Bryan Colangelo has tried the "bring in players" approach to building a team and each year, on paper, the Raps seem to have a team that can compete, but which we can all agree that hasn’t come to fruition.
Colangelo now looks to be taking the same route the other big GM (Brian Burke Toronto Maple Leafs) in Toronto is taking, the road of youth and development.
Granted these young guns including DeMar DeRozan (future Superstar in my mind), Amir Johnson, Ed Davis, Andrea Bargnani, Sonny Weems, Linas Kleiza, Joey Dorsey, Jose Calderon, Jarryd Bayless and newest addition James Johnson do bring some bright days ahead for the Raps' faithful.
But these kids have to establish themselves as NBA players before they get the respect of a Kobe Bryant, Dwayne Wade or a LeBron James, or do they?
I personally think it’s nonsense that referees have to call a game based on past performances.
Referees are supposed to be impartial judges and make calls that are the correct ones, not ones that are favorable to star.
This is not the Big Sky or Metro Atlantic divisions of the NCAA. It’s the big leagues. It’s the NBA, these guys have played out their college ball days and made it to the show.
That in itself should earn them enough respect to get a charging call in the fourth quarter when an opposing team's star drives and leans in with the shoulder, knocking over the Raptors player, instead of the bucket and one.
Come on NBA, give the Raptors the respect that should be given to all professionals at this level! We may be the only Canadian team in the league, but we’re proud supporters of our team and god forbid we should have even a slim chance of bringing the championship north of the boarder!
After all we did invent the game!